Penny Parker On The Town: A Taste of Colorado celebrates its 30th anniversary

August 12, 2013

“A Taste of Colorado” is just around the corner and the popular downtown food, music and entertainment festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The Labor Day weekend festival sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnership is scheduled Aug. 30-Sept. 2, in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The free festival includes entertainment for all ages with music, carnival rides, games, educational exhibits and selection of food.

The state’s largest free-admission outdoor event, A Taste of Colorado draws more than 500,000 visitors annually and is produced by and benefits Downtown Denver’s Events, Inc., the Partnership’s community events non-profit organization.

Six entertainment stages include national, local and ethnic music in a variety of genres, children’s performers, chef demonstrations and more. Kids can combine learning with fun as they enter the KidZone, a family-friendly area with play equipment and many free activities for children of all ages. The Comfort Denver KidzStage presented by radio station MIX 100 will entertain kids with music, magic, clowns and puppets, and other shows.

One of my favorite musicians from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Aaron Neville, will perform at the Main Stage on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. The Neville Brothers, featuring Aaron Neville, have been a traditional closing act for the New Orleans Jazz Fest for decades.

Festival attendees also can journey back to the roots of Colorado and learn about the state’s pioneer past, nature and environment. Artisans will demonstrate Navajo weaving and culture, spinning, rug braiding, lace crocheting and more in the Festival of Mountain and Plain area.

The Raptor Education Foundation will have a booth where families can learn about the natural world while being surrounded by non-releasable eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.

More than 50 of Colorado’s restaurants and food establishments will prepare small portions to full meals. Kid-friendly vendors near the KidZone will sell hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and more.

A Taste of Colorado needs volunteers who are willing to take a three- to four-hour shift during the four-day festival. If you’re interested in volunteering, email If you cannot volunteer this year but want to work other events, email that address to be added to the volunteer mailing list. For more information, contact Lauren Laramee at 303-534-6161.

Festival hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, and from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 2. For more information, visit or call 303-295-6330.

Aaron Neville will perform at the Main Stage on Aug. 31 during A Tast of Colorado at Civic Center park in downtown Denver. (Photo courtesy of A Taste of Colorado)

Aaron Neville will perform at the Main Stage on Aug. 31 during A Taste of Colorado at Civic Center park in downtown Denver. (Photo courtesy of A Taste of Colorado)


CU-Boulder best college town according to online poll

The website Livability has chosen America’s best college towns to live and visit. The University of Colorado in Boulder snagged the No. 1 pick of top 10 college towns in 2013.

Here what Livability wrote about CU and Boulder:

“You have to wonder how college students in Boulder, CO, find the motivation to get themselves to class. With so many other things to do, from rock climbing, skiing and hiking to sampling microbrews and checking out the latest museum exhibits, it has to be hard to hit the books.

“But Boulder is a city of innovative thinkers, environmentalists and researchers who work as hard as they play. Home to the University of Colorado and a collection of national laboratories, residents place a high value on the city’s diverse perspectives. Breathtaking natural beauty, a sense of cultural freedom and a highly educated population combine to deliver a wildly creative atmosphere where both students and residents flourish.

“Through CU-Boulder’s Volunteer Resource Center, approximately 1,200 students help the city and neighboring communities each year. The VRC collaborates with more than 250 community organizations in the Denver/Boulder area. Outreach efforts extend into course work for many students. A group of environmental design students recently collaborated with the city of Boulder to design and build an outdoor classroom and arboretum in a local park. Leeds School of Business students help low-income families prepare tax filings and teach a semester-long course in finance to middle-school students.”

My husband, Mr. On The Town, had to take issue with the poll. His school, the University of Missouri in Columbia, ranked fourth in the poll. For people who care about these things, and my hubby sure does, five of the 10 schools in the poll are from the Southeastern Conference (including good ol’ Mizzou).

Here’s the link to the story:

Tony’s goes from bistro to burgers

Tony’s Bistro Capitol Hill location at 950 Broadway is now Tony’s Burgers serving all natural patties.

A new chef was hired, its menu and name have been changed. The menu’s most popular items — burgers, pizzas and salads — are the focus of the renamed eatery inside Tony’s Market.

The burgers are ground fresh in-house from all-natural local meats. You have the choice of 100 percent grass-fed beef, Kobe-style Wagyu beef, Colorado free-range bison or boneless natural chicken breasts. You also can choose from premium all natural cheeses, plus fresh baked brioche rolls and all toppings are made fresh in house.

The pizzas: The dough is handmade and aged for flavor. Baked at 650 degrees in a stone oven, the dough is crisp and chewy. There’s a selection of classic pizzas and each serves one to two people.

The salads: New entree salads are tossed fresh and include a homemade garlic knot roll. There are an array salad choices, including  chicken Caesar, steakhouse, Italian, Napa or quinoa and kale. Small side salads also are available.

Tony’s still has a selection of beers on tap and in bottles, as well as four wines by the glass.  Plus, you can enjoy an adult beverage while grocery shopping. You also can pour your own fountain drink or choose your drinks in the market.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  Private parties, room rental and banquet events by appointment. More information at

Eavesdropping on a woman talking to a man after the woman found out that her stepmom has terminal cancer:  The man said: “Why can’t cancer get cancer and just die?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at

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